With the amount of hours my husband works, it’s rare for us to have a mid-week day that isn’t full of tasks we’re rushing to complete, but yesterday was a welcome exception.
The day started out with our 16 week appointment to check up on our little peanut, followed by a day of baby registering and going out to lunch, which was so good, it actually inspired today’s post. I’ll be honest, over the past month I have been somewhat ‘off the wagon’ when it comes to my eating habits. Between the holidays, my birthday and my husband having surgery, there was a whole lot of takeout happening as I just didn’t have it in me to get in the kitchen and whip up a meal. While I haven’t been gorging on fast food per say, I have been craving just about anything and everything I loved as a kid, just this time, gluten free. We’re talking pizza, french fries, tacos – you name it. Basically a bunch of foods that I haven’t eaten in years, so lately I have been feeling more than a little sluggish, and eager to return to some sense of normalcy.
Yesterday was the first time in weeks that I looked at a salad and actually thought ‘yum!,’ so I took advantage, and I am glad that I did! This Quinoa and Kale Salad from The Cheesecake Factory was so good, I couldn’t wait to recreate it at home, and to my surprise, it turned out excellent. The lemon vinaigrette really makes this salad pop, while the quinoa makes it hearty enough to be considered a meal on its’ own. The red grapes and red pepper add a perfect dash of sweetness, while the lemon keeps it light and fresh without being overwhelming.
I really think I may have found a new go-to kale salad here, so I hope you enjoy this easy, healthy dish as much as I do.
- 4 cups curly kale; hard stems removed and chopped into small pieces
- 2 cups cooked quinoa
- ½ cups red grape halves
- ½ a red bell pepper; finely chopped
- ¼ cup raw sunflower seeds
- ***Lemon Vinaigrette:***
- ¼ cup organic grapseed oil
- Juice of 1 medium sized lemon
- 1 Tbsp. raw honey; melted to soften
- 2 Tbsp. dijon mustard
- Pink Himalayan salt to taste
- In a medium saucepan, bring two cups of water to a boil.
- Rinse 1 cup of quinoa thoroughly until soapy residue no longer appears.
- Add quinoa into the pan and return to a boil.
- Cover and cook on medium/low heat for 15 minutes. When 15 minutes are complete, remove quinoa from heat, but keep the lid on for an additional 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork when finished, and let quinoa thoroughly cool.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine prepared kale, 2 cups of cooked quinoa, red grape halves, red pepper and raw sunflower seeds. Stir to thoroughly mix.
- In a small dish, whisk together ingredients for vinaigrette, adding salt to taste.
- Pour vinaigrette over salad and stir to evenly coat.
- Serve and enjoy!